HomeNewsCNN CEO Addresses Staff After Trump Town Hall, Defends Decision

    CNN CEO Addresses Staff After Trump Town Hall, Defends Decision

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    CNN is a divided home, and this was never more apparent than after the town hall of former President Donald Trump.

    The network’s ratings increased significantly after broadcasting the town hall, but according to a phone call obtained by The New York Post, the staff was in disarray.

    “You do not have to like the former president’s answers, but you can’t say that we didn’t get them,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said to his staff on the call obtained by The Post.

    He stated that CNN “[m]ade a lot of news” and that “that is our job.”

    In addition, he praised Kaitlan Collins, the town hall’s moderator, for “pressing” the former president.

    “Kaitlan pressed him again and again and made news,” he said.

    He said that he understood why some of the staff may have been “uncomfortable when the audience cheered after Trump called Collins “nasty.”

    “While we all may have been uncomfortable hearing people clapping, that was also an important part of the story,” he said.

    The Hill reports that many of the network’s talent expressed wrath and resentment over CEO Licht’s decision to feature Trump.

    Early data from Nielsen Media Research indicates that Wednesday night’s town hall attracted more than 3 million viewers. This number represents a significant increase of more than 300 percent compared to a typical weeknight at 8 p.m. for a network that normally trails Fox News and MSNBC, according to the outlet.

    Trump disregarded moderator Kaitlan Collins’ attempts to fact-check a series of statements he made during the event, causing CNN to confront both political and media controversy. Notably, the audience at the New Hampshire town hall demonstrated strong support for the Republican candidate, further aggravating the situation.

    “It was a total debacle, and I’ve never been more ashamed to work at CNN,” one prominent on-air talent at the network told The Hill on Thursday. “I don’t think anybody came out looking good. This is entirely a corporate and management failure. They should have anticipated how out of control Trump would be … to think he was going to act more presidential in that kind of setting is just naivety on a galactic scale.”

    During the event, Trump repeated previous claims about the outcome and conduct of the 2020 election against now-President Joe Biden; he caused a stir when he briefly referred to Collins as a “nasty person”; he claimed he did not know E. Jean Carroll, who was awarded a multimillion-dollar settlement earlier this week by a federal jury in New York over claims of sexual abuse and defamation — to which the crowd applauded.

    “This woman, I don’t know her. I never met her. I have no idea who she is,” Trump said.

    Democratic legislators were also furious.

    “There is simply no way CNN can feign ignorance about the fact that they set up a sexual assault victim to be targeted and attacked on national television a day after the verdict. People were sounding the alarm about this exact scenario. They let it happen anyway without a plan,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York tweeted.

    “This, the choice to platform election disinformation, lies about January 6th, totally unchecked and reckless claims about abortion… they need to take ownership of what just happened. This cannot be normalized. It’s dangerous,” she said.

    More on this story via Conservative Brief:

    Joy Behar, one of the controversial co-hosts of ABC’s “The View,” wrote, “The Cnn thing is a joke. The audience is stacked with his cult. Kaitlin is good, but it’s impossible to deal with this pathological liar. CONTINUE READING…

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